(Meat)Ballin’

Nothing like a good old fashioned meatball, right?  Right.  Well here’s a slightly healthier spin on your every day meatball.  

Grocery List:

  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp of butter
  • 3/4 of an onion, sliced n diced
  • 1-2 Cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Salt n Pepper
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 package of 98% lean ground turkey meat
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 liberal handfuls of ground bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder 
  • 1 tsp of poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp of Italian seasoning 
  • 2 Tbsp of Ketchup
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

 

How To:

  1. Heat up your butter and your olive oil and let them get to know each other white you cut up your onion and your garlic and then add them to your pan.Image
  2. Once the fantastic smell that can only come from simmering onions and garlic starts to waft through your home add in your thyme and let them cook down all together.  Right before the onions start to brown, take them out of the pan and put them in a bowl off to the side to cool down.
  3. Now on to meatier and messier things.  It’s time to play with your food!  Get out a medium sized bowl and place your lean n mean ground turkey in the bottom and knead it with your hands.  Work the meat into a solid ball so that it looks like the bare beginnings of a meatloaf.
  4. Let’s get cracking.  crack one egg into your meat and continue to knead the egg in until it’s completely incorporated.  
  5. Add your bread crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, Italian seasoning and ketchup.  It’s usually best if you start out with one handful of bread crumbs at a time.  If you add to much your meat balls will be too mealy and resemble more of a soggy round crouton. Nothing appetizing about that.  Add the bread crumbs as necessary because it is just the crumbs and your egg that holds the guys together!
  6. Get rolling.  Line an oven-safe dish with some parchment paper and roll the meat into balls about the size of ice cream scoops.  Place them in your dish. 
  7. Once you’re done grate some parmesan across the top and cover with cellophane for at least an hour.Image
  8. Get a little olive oil into your pan and bring it to a nice and hot temperature.  Place the meatballs in your pan and let them hang out for a hot minute.  ALSO, preheat your oven to 350′.Image
  9. Once they start to look like they’re getting beautiful, golden-brown, almost-cripy-but-nowehere-near burned, spheres of deliciousness:Imagetake them out of the pan and place them back into the oven-safe dish.  Bake them for 35-40 minutes.

And that’s all there is to some most excellent meat balls.  I chose to serve them with Fettuccine and a sweet basic and orated garlic tomato sauce but these are guaranteed to be excellent in any pasta dish or even in sandwiches.  

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Gnocchi with White Wine Cream Sauce and Prosciutto

I’m a pasta girl through and through.  To me there is nothing like curling up with a small bowl of pasta and a good glass of wine with a good movie.  I have never met a noodle that I didn’t like but if I had to choose, gnocchi would win time and time again.  It’s unique shape just begs for a sumptuous sauce and it’s texture adds that little extra something.  Here’s my go to gnocchi dish:

Grocery List:

  • 1 package of gnocchi
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 of an onion finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 small handfuls of chopped green onions
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 oz. of prosciutto shredded
  • 2-2 1/2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of white cooking wine
  • 1/2 Tbsp. of flour

How To:

  1. Start out by chopping up all of your fresh ingredients, this will make it so much easier so you can just throw it all into the pot once it’s time.  Image
  2. Get your olive oil and butter going in a skillet at medium heat, once the olive oils starts thinning out and coating the bottom of that pan as you move it about, add in your chopped onions.  Stir them up and make sure they all get some equal loving from the olive oil then add some salt and pepper to taste.
  3. About 3-4 minutes in add your chopped garlic and your thyme leaves and continue to stir every now and then.
  4. Once your kitchen starts to smells phenomenal, throw in your green onions as well!
  5. As soon as your onions are looking transparent and your green onions have gotten well acquainted with the other ingredients in your skillet add in the prosciutto.  (If you prefer feel free to substitute pancetta or even bacon.)
  6. Once your prosciutto begins to brow, it’s time to get saucy.  Add in your cream.  Feel free to salt n pepper it up again.
  7. Give all the ingredients a good stir and let the cream simmer a bit.  After a couple of minutes it’s time for the fun stuff: WINE.  If you want to add a white wine you have in your fridge, feel free.  As a college student I ration my drinking wine sparingly and instead opt for cooking wine.  Add your choice of dry white wine into your sauce as well as the flour.  The flower acts as a bit of a thickening agent before you bring on the big heat to really thicken up your sauce.Image
  8. Time to get the main act going and boil the water for your gnocchi.  Don’t forget to show the pasta water some love and salt it.  I usually throw in some olive oil too, but to each their own. Throw on the lid and wait for the bubbles.  Now is also the perfect time to turn up the heat to about medium high on your cream sauce.  Keep storing the sauce and watch the thickening begin.
  9. Once your water has boiled your final product is not far off.  One of the best things about gnocchi is it take minutes to cook.  Put your gnocchi in the boiling water and wait for the perfect little potato pastas to float to the top.  Once they start to bob to the surface, they’re done!
  10. At this point your sauce should be at a fairly high heat and thickening up nicely.  Don’t forget to taste!  Want a little more garlic? wine? throw it in.  There are no rules.  Well there are a few: Don’t start fires, love the wine, taste all the food.
  11. As the pastas are ready, skim them from the top and introduce them to the sauce equivalent of their soul mate.
  12. Stir the pasta.  Plate the pasta.  Pour the wine.  Wow the tastebuds.Image

Homemade pasta sauces are way easier than people realize.  Give this sauce a go and I promise you’ll make jars of Ragu and Bertolli a thing of the past.  

Looking for Culinary Perfection?…

If the answer is yes then I urge you to continue on your gastronomical journey.  I hail from no prestigious culinary arts institution and alas, I’m still an undergrad with an electric stove.  What I can promise you is good food, good drinks, and some good company.  Cooking is the small haven that comes to me at least once a day– kind of like meeting up with a friend for a daily decompression session.  There’s something about the right number handfuls of that and the perfect pinches of this that come together to create something that makes you appreciate all the small things that went into it.  To me food isn’t just fuel for the body, it’s fuel for the soul.  So without further adieu, let’s get cooking.